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With Mixer Dead In The Water, Twitch’s Next Big Threat Could Be Tencent

Bullet Club

Gold Member
With Mixer Dead In The Water, Twitch’s Next Big Threat Could Be Tencent

One of Twitch’s best-known rivals, Microsoft’s Mixer, might be dead, but that’s not dissuading another tech giant from trying to take on the West’s livestreaming kingpin. According to Bloomberg, Tencent has been testing streaming service Trovo Live in the US since March.

The Chinese company has its fingers in many, many gaming pies. It owns Valorant and League of Legends developer Riot Games and it has stakes in Epic Games, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft — to name a few.

Tencent started moving into game streaming in earnest a couple of years ago when it invested in Chinese services Douyu and Huya. It bought a controlling stake in the latter in April, and the company also has its own eGame service. Now, it’s moving into the US. Trovo says in its terms of service that it’s affiliated with Tencent and its contact address is the same as Tencent’s own US headquarters. Make of that what you will.

Trovo’s website should look pretty familiar to Twitch users — it has an almost-identical design, from the carousel that promotes streamers on the front page to the chat window on the right of the screen. You can stream on the platform using a third-party mobile or desktop broadcasting app.

But Trovo’s viewership is comparatively minuscule right now. At one point on Friday afternoon, the top channel on Trovo had 225 viewers. At the same time on Twitch, the biggest stream (a Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament) had 108,000 viewers, and more than 43,000 were tuning in to the top individual streamer.

The Fortnite section on Trovo had 222 viewers at the same time north of 262,000 were watching it on Twitch. So it’s a long, long way behind the reigning champ. That said, Trovo, and seemingly by extension Tencent, seems ready to invest to lure in content creators.

This week, it announced a Creator Partnership Program, which will ramp up in July and reward creators with $30 million in payments over the next 18 months. Streamers can apply to the Trovo 500 program if they meet a certain minimum viewership requirement, have more than 50 followers and run high-quality broadcasts.

An elite few broadcasters can earn more than $5,000 a month through the program, and those in the bottom tier can earn at least $600. Much like on Twitch, streamers can also generate income through paid subscriptions and Bits-like digital rewards called Elixir. They’re also free to keep streaming elsewhere if they participate in the Trovo 500.

The service has already drawn some broadcasters away from Twitch, YouTube and Mixer. It’s the last of those that perhaps presents the most interesting opportunity for Trovo (and Tencent). Mixer announced this week it was closing, and Microsoft teamed up with Facebook Gaming to help streamers move over to that platform and more or less pick up where they left off.

However, many are moving to Twitch instead and, crucially, Mixer’s two biggest names haven’t made their future plans clear. Microsoft reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars to lure Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek away from Twitch on exclusive contracts. But as of this week, they are free agents.

Were Tencent (I mean, Trovo) willing to park a truckload of cash up to those broadcasters’ driveways, it could bring in those two players and their large fanbases. While they never quite hit the same viewership levels on Mixer as they did on Twitch, they are easily the biggest names Trovo could possibly attract right now to bring more attention to the service.

It’s far too early to say whether Trovo could pose a threat to Twitch (which is facing its own troubles at the minute) in the long run, but it’s certainly possible. Despite their enormous resources and amid rapidly growing interest in streaming, Microsoft, Facebook and YouTube haven’t gotten close to usurping Twitch. Tencent (sorry, Trovo) is perhaps a bit different, though. It has already shown its willingness to spend big on rewarding streamers. Whether the gaming community will follow remains to be seen.

Source: Forbes
 

OutRun88

Member
It's hard to imagine anything threatening Twitch at this point. MS learned an expensive lesson with Mixer that it has little to nothing to do with big names.

It's all on Twitch to shoot itself in the foot.
 
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Barakov

Member
It's hard to imagine anything threatening Twitch at this point. MS learned an expensive lesson with Mixer that it has little to nothing to do with big names.

It's all on Twitch to shoot itself in the foot.
It's kinda been doing that for awhile. Also, Tencent has a fuckton of money. They could very well be a major thorn in Twitch's side expecially if they decide that you can only stream League of Legends on their channel. It happened with Overwatch so it's possible. It entirely depends on Tencent.
 

Rikoi

Member
As much as I'd love a strong competitor to twitch, twitch is backed by amazon, it wont be easy to beat that.
Anyway with mixer gone, I'm cheering for the chinese guys, I don't like monopolies.
 

PresetError

Neophyte
Mixer was never a big competitor for Twitch. With almost zero noise Youtube Gaming and Facebook Gaming are growing very fast in viewing hours and they conquered already 34% of the live streaming market, which is huge considering how much of a head start Twitch had over everybody.

Specially Facebook Gaming growing a yearly 238% between 2019 and 2020 and now partnering with Microsoft for the xCloud is a worrying sign for Twitch, who had already been losing users to Yutube streamings.

Twitch still has 66% of the market but this is hardly a monopoly. Competitors they have aready.
 

Sophist

Member
Could a streaming platform secure exclusive streaming rights for a specific game? Like Twitch would pay naughty dog for TLOU 2 to be only streamable on Twitch.
 

Garjon

Member
It's hard to imagine anything threatening Twitch at this point. MS learned an expensive lesson with Mixer that it has little to nothing to do with big names.

It's all on Twitch to shoot itself in the foot.
If there's a company that can compete with Twitch, it's gonna come from China. Look at how quickly TikTok exploded
 

OutRun88

Member
If there's a company that can compete with Twitch, it's gonna come from China. Look at how quickly TikTok exploded
TikTok didn't have a competitor in the market when it came out though right? Unless it's Snapchat? I thought those were different enough. I don't use any of them so forgive my ignorance.
 
I could see it, but I imagine they’d restrict the right to stream their games to their own platform. Honestly, I could see publishers attempt to angle that direction, striking deals with the streaming platforms to limit where and how their titles are broadcast.

Tencent would be wise to partner with an American outlet or push an independent brand. They have to walk a delicate balance when playing around in the US market given their close ties to the CCP.
 

Garjon

Member
TikTok didn't have a competitor in the market when it came out though right? Unless it's Snapchat? I thought those were different enough. I don't use any of them so forgive my ignorance.
No I just mean in how popular it became, almost overnight
 

Mista

Banned
Nah, Amazon are bigger. Also Twitch got a very massive fanbase so its tough to top that anytime soon.
 

Horatius

Member
place your bets, who would censor people more, the western corporate cowards at twitch or the commies at tencent
 
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